Gulf Coast urged to prepare for heavy rain, potential floods




TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Division of Emergency Management is urging residents and businesses from Tampa to Pensacola to prepare for heavy rainfall and flooding potential through next week.

In a statement Saturday, FDEM director Bryan W. Koon says the National Weather Service is monitoring a developing weather system along the Gulf Coast and that the service "expects this to be a slow moving heavy rain event which could last through Thursday," affecting portions of the Big Bend and Panhandle.

The statement says the forecast calls for 10-15 inches of rain in locations from Tampa to Pensacola through the next five days with isolated areas receiving over 18 inches.

Flash flooding could also occur in areas that receive rain amounts in excess of 3 inches in a short period of time.
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